MIAMI -- Looking for help for the stretch run, the Miami Heat turned to a familiar face.
Michael Beasley is with the Heat for a third time, signing a 10-day contract on Thursday with the team that drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick seven years ago.
He said returning to the Heat feels "like I never left, honestly."
Beasley participated in an optional practice in New Orleans on Thursday, working on his shooting and adding a soaring one-handed dunk before walking off the court. He expects to be in uniform against the Pelicans on Friday night.
"I feel great," Beasley said. "I'm definitely blessed and humbled for yet another opportunity, and I'm ready to take it by storm."
Beasley's addition comes less than a week after the Heat learned they would lose All-Star forward Chris Bosh for the remainder of the season because of blood clots on a lung. Miami (25-31) entered Thursday in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Beasley spent this season in China, putting up monster numbers, including a 59-point performance in his league's all-star game. He said he's returned to the NBA a wiser, more patient player who has emphasized trying to "slow down, let the game come. I focus on trying to make the whole group better."
"I'm still explosive. It's just about when to use it and how to use it," Beasley added. "I've just learned a lot about myself, learned a lot about my body and the most efficient ways I can move to help the team, and I just want to show it."
He has been working out in Miami for several days, even practicing in the team facility -- a courtesy that the team extended to him, and a sign that yet another Beasley reunion could be looming.
Now it's official, with Beasley wearing a team T-shirt as he signed his contract on Thursday.
MIAMI -- On good days, the worst hurled at Luol Deng in grade school were the racist slurs a Sudanese refugee child was far too young to comprehend yet never quite able to forget.
Samara, meaning black.
Hunga bunga, mockery for ape.
Shakshuka, epithet from a cheap north African meal.
On bad days, those classroom slurs escalated to slinging fists in the schoolyard.
"It was just constant," Deng, a Miami Heat forward, says 25 years later. "I had this one teacher, and as I got older and translated things he used to say, it was racist and hatred stuff he was saying toward me and my brother. A lot of times, we fought because of that stuff."
Yet this was the better life.
This was the safe haven -- the relative oasis -- during the early 1990s in Alexandria, Egypt, where Deng and eight siblings fled without their parents to escape a decades-long civil war in their native Sudan between the Muslim north and Christian south. Luol's father, Aldo Deng, was a Sudanese government official who, according to British media reports, was jailed in 1989 during a violent coup by Muslim rebels who imposed Sharia law.
The Magic squandered an eight-point lead with less than a minute play in the fourth quarter, allowing the Heat to send the game to extra time.
Nik Vucevic had all five of the Magic's point in overtime, and finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 13 points and a career -high 13 rebounds.
Orlando struggled from the free throw line, going just 18 for 31 for the game.
But before he slipped on his new No. 3 uniform the center explained how his decision where to continue his career came down to either joining his former coach, Doc Rivers, and the Los Angeles Clippers, or joining his former AAU teammate, LeBron James.
"It was extremely hard," said Perkins who finalized his contract with Cleveland earlier in the day after agreeing to a buyout from the Utah Jazz on Monday. "(Rivers) was real honest with me, he told me, 'I think your best two situations right now is either us or Cleveland.' So I was like, Doc? Or I have a chance to go play with The King. Doc? The King? Uh, I choose The King."
James and Perkins teamed up in high school for the Oakland (Calif.) Soldiers AAU squad before having several postseason battles in the pros.
MIAMI -- Luol Deng made 11 of 14 shots and scored 29 points, Goran Dragic added 23 points and 10 assists, and the Miami Heat set a season high for scoring in a 119-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
It was a good-news day all around for Miami. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game that Chris Bosh -- who has blood clots on a lung, a season-ending issue -- will be going home "soon" from a hospital where he's been treated since late last week.